When a business faces the challenge of being unable to pay its suppliers, it has serious implications.

If you are consistently late in fulfilling your obligations, it will damage relationships and possibly mean suppliers will make your payment terms even tighter.

This article delves into the consequences and potential remedies for businesses that find themselves in this precarious position.

can't pay suppliers

What Will Happen if I Can’t Pay Suppliers?

If a business can’t pay its suppliers, you should expect penalties and interest to be charged, or in the worst case the supplier could apply to wind up your company.

Suppliers may decide to halt deliveries or services if payments are not received, disrupting business operations. This might affect your company’s ability to produce its products or offer its services, leading to lost sales and revenue.

If you really can’t pay suppliers, they have certain formal options at their disposal to get paid. These include

These legal actions also bring additional costs, like legal fees and court charges, further exacerbating the business’s financial challenges.

What are our Options When Can’t Pay Suppliers?

Let’s focus on the practical solutions available to you at this juncture. If you are struggling to pay your suppliers, it is important to take action quickly to avoid further damage to your business.

Here are some steps you can take:

Communicate with Your Suppliers

Openly discuss your financial challenges with suppliers. Keeping them informed about the outstanding invoices and your plans to resolve the issue can foster understanding and potentially flexible arrangements.

Negotiate Payment Plans

Work towards negotiating feasible payment plans with suppliers. This could involve smaller, more manageable payments over a longer period or providing collateral for better terms.

Seek Professional Advice

Seeking advice from an accountant or trusted financial adviser is always recommended. Debt experts such as ourselves can offer experience and practical options to move forward constructively.

Consider a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)

A CVA is a formal agreement with your creditors to pay back a percentage of your debts over time (with the rest written off). It can be a practical option for maintaining operations while managing debts.

Explore Financing Options

Investigate different financing options to extend your payment capabilities. This may include loans or accessing alternative capital sources.

Review and Cut Expenses

Examine your current business expenses for potential reductions, such as staff restructuring, renegotiating contracts, or finding more cost-effective suppliers.

Increase Revenue

Identify strategies to enhance your revenue, like expanding your product line, finding new markets, or adjusting pricing.

Consider Voluntary Liquidation

If the financial situation is dire, voluntary liquidation could be an option. This process involves closing the company and liquidating assets to pay off debts in an orderly manner.

Remember, the sooner you take action to address your financial situation, the better your chances of resolving the issue and protecting your business.

Entering Voluntary Liquidation if you Can’t pay Suppliers

In circumstances where your business is unable to meet its obligations to suppliers and other creditors, and no viable turnaround strategies are feasible, entering into voluntary liquidation might be a necessary course of action. This process involves a formal decision to close down the company and is usually considered as a last resort.

Voluntary liquidation begins with the company directors making a resolution that the business cannot continue due to its financial burdens. The process requires the appointment of a licensed insolvency practitioner who takes on the role of liquidator. The liquidator’s responsibility is to oversee the orderly winding up of the company, which includes selling off assets and distributing the proceeds to creditors.

One of the primary advantages of voluntary liquidation is that it allows directors to retain some control over the company’s closure process, as opposed to being forced into compulsory liquidation by creditors. This can provide a more dignified and structured end to the business, potentially preserving some business relationships and personal reputations.

When You Can’t Pay Suppliers: Steps to Close Your Business

When facing the difficult reality that your business can’t pay its suppliers and the financial strain is insurmountable, liquidating the company may be the most pragmatic choice. At Company Debt, we understand the gravity of this decision and are here to guide you through the process, offering a structured and transparent approach to closing your business.

  • Professional Assessment: We begin by thoroughly assessing your business’s financial situation. Our expertise allows us to evaluate all possible solutions, confirming whether liquidation is the most appropriate course of action.
  • Managing the Liquidation Process: If liquidation is necessary, we take charge of the procedure, ensuring that assets are sold and proceeds distributed to creditors, including suppliers. This process involves handling all legal and administrative responsibilities and providing clarity and support during this challenging period.
  • Clearing Debts: A key advantage of liquidation is the potential to clear unsecured debts. After asset distribution, most remaining debts are often written off, which can provide a clean slate for your future endeavours.
  • Personal Liability Protection: We strive to protect your personal finances, especially if you have not personally guaranteed your business debts. Our aim is to minimize the impact of the business closure on your personal financial situation.
  • Maintaining Professional Relationships: Throughout the process, we advise on maintaining and managing professional relationships. Effective communication with creditors and stakeholders is crucial during this transition.
How can we help?

For a cost and obligation-free discussion about any of the potential solutions listed above, please get in touch with the expert advisers at Company Debt today via live chat or on 0800 074 6757

We will help you explore your options and find the most effective way to stop creditor pressure and keep you in business. Use the live chat in the bottom right of the screen for immediate advice or give us a call.